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Gujarat’s Mundra port sees import of Quran objectionable, Holds back its 4,000 copies for a month

Thursday, May 28, 2009 04:30:11 PM,


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Ahmedabad: The 4,000 copies of the Holy Quran in Arabic script landed at the Mundra port more than a month ago but these are yet to be handed over to the consignee in Gorevali village of the Muslim dominated Banni area in the Rann of Kutch within Kutch district.


The consignment along with some 500 CDs have been sent from Dubai. The copies of the Holy Quran are meant for free distribution and not for sale.


This is despite the fact the consignments have been sent legally and the consignee has got valid documents. Even assistant customs commissioner at Mundra Ashok Nagade admitted to journalists that the import of the Holy Quran was not illegal. He said that the customs department would hand over the material to the consignee as soon as certain investigations were over.


The copies of the Holy Quran are meant for Jamia Darul Masiha, an Ahl-e-Hadees madrasa at Gorevali run by Abdul Qayyum Khan. Set up in 1952 by Khan’s grandfather Haji Dalil Khan, the madrasa has been imparting Islamic education among 40,000 Muslims of Banni region bordering Pakistan.


The consignment has been sent by Khan’s father Haider Khan working in Dubai.


Speaking to, Khan said that after the consignment landed, he contacted a number of clearing agents but all of them refused to entertain him. Finally, he himself went to the customs officials along with the papers of the consignment sent by his father.


“As soon as I reached the customs office, I was surrounded by police and intelligence sleuths who were waiting for him in advance’’, Khan told this reporter over phone from his residence in Gorevali on Sunday evening.


“I was surprised by this behaviour of the customs officials as also the intelligence sleuths from the central and state agencies because I had valid documents and the consignment was sent legally’’, Khan stated.


However, Khan cooperated with the agencies and gave them all the information about himself and the sender of the consignments.


“Investigators told me that they had advance information that some objectionable materials are being sent to me and hence, they were waiting for me to personally reach and claim it’’, narrated Khan.


However, customs officials, who checked each and every copy of the Holy Quran found nothing objectionable.


“Their objection was to some of the CDs packed within the cartons of the Holy Quran’’, said Khan. But this was not illegal because the papers sent from Dubai mention CDs as part of the consignment.


Khan said that the copies of the Holy Quran were meant for distribution among the local people. “The copies of the Quran were gifted in Dubai by several people and my father sent them for the benefit of the people here’’, he explained.


He said that though the custom officials had finally become convinced and agreed to release it after conducting investigations. “But now I will have to pay the demurrage charges because the customs allow free storage only for 15 days in their godowns’’, informed Khan.


Khan’s madrasa is affiliated to Jamia Salafia Islamia University of Banaras in Uttar Pradesh.


In Gujarat, Kutch district has the largest concentration of Muslims, most of them located in border areas.




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